(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

It's basic common sense innit.

Short vowels are followed by doubled consonants, long vowels by single consonants. Its such a good spelling rule that even people who don't consciously know it have generally internalised it.

Phonologically, 'x' in these words represents a cluster of two phonemes; but it's still only one consonant letter. So the rule is extended to it.

I guess a parallel is the way that new words with a short vowel before /v/ get double 'v', even though old ones don't for historical reasons. So "levy", but "savvy" and "navvy". (I'm not sure when 'new' begins in this case, but 'navvy' suggests it must be 1900 at the latest, if not 1800 (I don't know when people started actually writing the word, though of course they've been using it for centuries. And come to think of it, 'savvy' is probably 18th century).

The rareness of 'xx' may be because such words have to be either sui generis coinings (as borrowing will keep the original spelling), or else derivatives from words ending in 'x' that are a) common enough to have developed new derivatives, but b) not common enough historically to have already produced establised derivatives before the rule became generalised. So "boxer" has only one 'x', because the word is ancient; "salixing" (the act of encasing in Latinate willow products) doesn't have two 'x's because it's a word I just invented, so hasn't got a popularised spelling...

It's also less likely to happen where the word ending 'x' is clearly an abbreviation of a longer word, where people still 'know' there's only one 'x' in it. So probably 'saxing' rather than 'saxxing', because 'saxophone' has only one 'x'. That said, I wouldn't be shocked to see someone write 'saxxing'.

Oh, and I've definitely seen 'sexxing'.

EDIT: one possibility that springs to mind would be derivatives of "xerox". Wiktionary gives xeroxing, but I wouldn't be shocked to see xeroxxing (though it's probably JUST too early for that to have become the norm, and of course it's not that common a word now).

EDIT EDIT: now I'm jealous of the Hungarians. Apparently their word for 'to xerox' is xeroxozik. Now that's a word!
Last edited by Salmoneus on 14 Mar 2020 21:59, edited 1 time in total.

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

"Beta-buxxer" (an incel term for settled-down boring straight men with boring wives) has a double X.

So does "Maxxinista" (an avid TJ Maxx shopper).

I would imagine people avoided doubling the X because X is pronounced /ks/, so writing "Maxx" would really be writing "Maksks", and writing "anti-vaxxer" would really be writing "anti-vakskser".
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1036
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote:
14 Mar 2020 21:46
Short vowels are followed by doubled consonants, long vowels by single consonants. Its such a good spelling rule that even people who don't consciously know it have generally internalised it.

[...]

"salixing" (the act of encasing in Latinate willow products) doesn't have two 'x's because it's a word I just invented, so hasn't got a popularised spelling...

[...]

EDIT: one possibility that springs to mind would be derivatives of "xerox". Wiktionary gives xeroxing, but I wouldn't be shocked to see xeroxxing
Possibly worth noting is that American English only has this doubling rule for monosyllabic words, so a significant percentage of the internet would probably write "salixing" and "xeroxing" anyway. Although then again, I suspect a part of the reason for usage of <xx> is the same as for other "kewl" spellings on the internet and/or in slang words, so who knows, maybe its usage could spread beyond the usual contexts of consonant doubling.

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Xonen wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:15
Possibly worth noting is that American English only has this doubling rule for monosyllabic words,
. . . or for VAC words, as we learned to call them in spelling class (1 vowel-accented syllable-1 consonant). Rebelled, rebelling, patrolled, patrolling, excelled, excelling, admitted, admitting, rebutted, rebutting, preferred, preferring, occurred, occurring, equipped, equipping, debugged, debugging.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1036
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen »

Khemehekis wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:05
"Beta-buxxer" (an incel term for settled-down boring straight men with boring wives) has a double X.

So does "Maxxinista" (an avid TJ Maxx shopper).

I would imagine people avoided doubling the X because X is pronounced /ks/, so writing "Maxx" would really be writing "Maksks", and writing "anti-vaxxer" would really be writing "anti-vakskser".
Well, kind of. In general, though, doubled consonant letters in English are exactly the same as single ones, so <xx> = <x> = /ks/. Of course, being a consonant cluster, <x> tends not to follow long vowels, nor is it ever really doubled in Latin or French, so back when English spelling rules were originally being established, there was simply no reason to ever write it double. But now that nobody speaks Latin or French anymore, phonology has become largely irrelevant to spelling, and typing an extra letter here or there requires pressing an additional key rather than carving an additional block, evidently the tendency to double consonants after short vowels is starting to spill over to <x> as well.

Khemehekis wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:19
Xonen wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:15
Possibly worth noting is that American English only has this doubling rule for monosyllabic words,
. . . or for VAC words, as we learned to call them in spelling class (1 vowel-accented syllable-1 consonant). Rebelled, rebelling, patrolled, patrolling, excelled, excelling, admitted, admitting, rebutted, rebutting, preferred, preferring, occurred, occurring, equipped, equipping, debugged, debugging.
Um, right. I'm pretty sure I originally intended to write "after stressed vowels"; not sure how I ended up with that. [¬.¬]

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 5507
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

@Khemehekis:
“Maxxinista” is proper-noun-derived, so I wouldn’t want to count it.
The same is true of “Xeroxxing”.

“Doxxing” is a good catch! Thanks, Pabappa! Why is there a double x in doxxing?

“Beta-buxxer” is new to me! What’s its etymology, if you know?
.....
My own guessing was leaning towards “you need two consonantal letters between the vowels to show the first vowel is ‘short’ instead of ‘long’”. Like Salmoneus, Xonen, and Khemehekis.
But I’m also intrigued by the “parallelism with the double c in vaccine” idea! (Like the Dormouse said!)
.....
I’m glad for the responses!

....
Edit: Khemehekis:
The accented vowel in “patrolled” and “patrolling” is long, not short!
Why aren’t they spelled “patroled” and “patroling”?
Sim for “controled” and “controling”?

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Xonen wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:46
Well, kind of. In general, though, doubled consonant letters in English are exactly the same as single ones, so <xx> = <x> = /ks/.
Doubling a letter can do weird things. Normally C is pronounced /s/ before E, I, or Y, but when you double the C in "tic" or "soc", you get "ticcing" or "soccer", which are pronounced /k/.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 370
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa »

Perhaps there was a vowel shift. the "short O" vowel before a tautosyllabic /l/ is typically spelled a, as in all, ball, thrall, etc. (I have caught/cot merged so I dont know offhand which one it is.) Perhaps words like troll, poll, knoll, etc once had a short O but are now merged with the long O and so that vowel now can be spelled with either one or two L's following.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

eldin raigmore wrote:
14 Mar 2020 23:22
@Khemehekis:
“Maxxinista” is proper-noun-derived, so I wouldn’t want to count it.
Well, at least *I* count it.
“Beta-buxxer” is new to me!
A couple of years ago, I answered this question on Quora:

https://www.quora.com/What-comes-to-min ... -name-Chad

Then a month ago, I got this A2A in my Quora digest in my email box:

https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean ... you-a-Chad

I learned what a beta-buxxer was from there.
What’s its etymology, if you know?
I would guess the "beta" part comes because they're beta males, with Chads being the alpha males. And I would guess the "buxxer" part comes from "bucks", since the main thing beta-buxxers offer to women is that they are providers, not that they are hot or provide great sex.

"Bucks" has a CKS, and "buxxer" may look less odd than "buckser" to some people.
Khemehekis:
The accented vowel in “patrolled” and “patrolling” is long, not short!
Why aren’t they spelled “patroled” and “patroling”?
Sim for “controled” and “controling”?

It's (accented or only syllable) consonant-vowel-consonant that seems to be the rule.

Of course, the norm in English is that the last vowel letter in a word, if it has at least one consonant but no other vowels after it, and is not part of a digraph, trigraph, or quadrigraph (like in "sign", "high", "sight", and "Hugh"), will be short. ("Be", "hi", "go", etc. are long, as are "cane", "say", "claim", "sundae", and "shillelagh", but not "car", "man", "bland", "last" or "schmaltz".) Think of how few words that have A as the last vowel pronounce it /ei/, except in dialects (like mine) wherein -ang and -ank words (hang, bang, spank, bank, Frank, orangutan, etc.) have /ei/. All I can think of are "a", the letter A, "bass", the surname of Colbie Caillat, and some pronunciations of "Croat" (so that it sounds like "Croatian").

There are exceptions, though: you have the -ild words (child, wild, mild), the -ind words (find, blind, mind, rewind), the -old words (old, cold, gold, told, sold, fold, bold, mold, hold), the -ost words (ghost, most, host, Yost, almost, post), pint, Christ, climb, bass, indict, Job, comb, the -ol(l) words (roll, poll, toll, boll, enroll/enrol, control, patrol), the -on't words (don't, won't), gross, and the -olt words (bolt, molt, Holt, colt, dolt). "Control" and "patrol" just happen to follow one of these patterns, although for reasons I'm unaware of, they don't double the L in English the way "roll" and "poll" do.

Then, of course, plurals of words ending in long vowels can have a similar effect: apostrophes, similes, hi's, mangos, pianos, tacos, flus, parvenus, and flybys all have the last vowel letter a long one.

Of course, in languages without the Great Vowel Shift, the vowels usually go something like /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/. As a result of this, English borrowed many words in the last few centuries wherein O made an /ou/ sound and U made an /u/ sound, and kept the pronunciation. So we have words like "yod(h)", "Vladivostok", "Rom" (as in Roma), "Carlos", "adios", "skosh", "Igorot", "Likud", "Marduk", "suq", "kun", "on" (like the kanji reading), "om", "qoph", "pfeffernuss", "Havmu-suv", "Vaduz", "cul(-de-sac)" (/kyl/ in French!), and "cogito ergo sum".

Finally, there're "sosh" and "fav", which rhyme with "gauche" and "save", not "Josh" and "Trav", because they are twentieth-century apocopations of words ("socialite" and "favorite") in which the O and A followed the normal rules.

So, the short answer is that the normal rules for VAC words conflict in this case with the normal rules for when vowels are short or long.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1036
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen »

Khemehekis wrote:
14 Mar 2020 23:55
Xonen wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:46
Well, kind of. In general, though, doubled consonant letters in English are exactly the same as single ones, so <xx> = <x> = /ks/.
Doubling a letter can do weird things. Normally C is pronounced /s/ before E, I, or Y, but when you double the C in "tic" or "soc", you get "ticcing" or "soccer", which are pronounced /k/.
Yes, that's why I said "in general". Although in these cases, I'd argue that the statement actually kind of holds: the single <c> in "tic" and "soc" is pronounced /k/, and the doubled <cc> in the suffixed forms is... also pronounced /k/. If anything, this would seem to be more evidence that the rule of doubling stem-final consonants before suffixes if the preceding vowel is short is spreading to affect new letters. And as is usually the case, the doubling of the consonant in such situations has no effect on its actual pronunciation. It's just in opposition to the more general rule of how <c> (or <cc>) is pronounced before front vowels - which in turn is an exception to the more general rule of a doubled consonant letter being pronounced the same as a single one.

That is, the normal pronunciation of <c> before a front vowel is /s/, but that of <cc> (as in "vaccine", for instance) is /ks/. However, for word-final <c> it's /k/, and a stem-final <c> doubled before a suffix follows the same rule as any other doubled consonant, namely pronunciation stays unchanged.

The letter <g> displays similar behavior. Then there's <s>, which is often (though not regularly) /z/ between vowels, but almost always (although again, not quite regularly) /s/ when doubled. And no doubt some other weird stuff happens in a few words somewhere. But again, in general, I do think that's pretty much it.

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Xonen wrote:
15 Mar 2020 01:40
Khemehekis wrote:
14 Mar 2020 23:55
Xonen wrote:
14 Mar 2020 22:46
Well, kind of. In general, though, doubled consonant letters in English are exactly the same as single ones, so <xx> = <x> = /ks/.
Doubling a letter can do weird things. Normally C is pronounced /s/ before E, I, or Y, but when you double the C in "tic" or "soc", you get "ticcing" or "soccer", which are pronounced /k/.
Yes, that's why I said "in general". Although in these cases, I'd argue that the statement actually kind of holds: the single <c> in "tic" and "soc" is pronounced /k/, and the doubled <cc> in the suffixed forms is... also pronounced /k/. The doubling itself has no effect on the pronunciation.
Exactly. With a few exceptions, doubling is just a rule about preceding vowels.

That is, the normal pronunciation of <c> before a front vowel is /s/, but that of <cc> (as in "vaccine", for instance) is /ks/. However, for word-final <c> it's /k/, and a stem-final <c> doubled before a suffix follows the same rule as any other doubled consonant, namely pronunciation stays unchanged.
Yes, I'd emphasise here that most orthographic rules operate on stems, and ignore suffixes like -ed, -es, -ing, -er, etc. The doubling of intervocalic consonants after a short vowel is one of the few exceptions, and even then it's not entirely regular, with Americans often failing to double the consonant.

"Soccer" is actually an interesting word in this respect. The original word, "association", has <c> = /s/; but the abbreviation, "assoc.", has this hardened to /k/, not because of any phonological rule, but because of the orthographic rule (<c> is /k/ unless followed by a front vowel). And the suffix -er fails to change this, because it's external to the stem, but still triggers doubling (because it's one of the most basic rules).

All of which goes to show: English speakers have a high level of understanding of, and fidelity to, English spelling rules, even if not consciously, and spelling reformers often underestimate this!



I wouldn't treat 'vaccine' and similar words as examples of consonant doubling, by the way. I'd treat it as a cluster that just happens to look like a doubled consonant. Unfortunately, /k/ is <c> before consonants, and <c> is /s/ before front vowels, which means that /ks/ clusters can end up as <cc> through coincidence (or sometimes <cs>, or of course <x>, or <xc>, or...).

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Pabappa wrote:
15 Mar 2020 00:25
Perhaps there was a vowel shift. the "short O" vowel before a tautosyllabic /l/ is typically spelled a, as in all, ball, thrall, etc. (I have caught/cot merged so I dont know offhand which one it is.) Perhaps words like troll, poll, knoll, etc once had a short O but are now merged with the long O and so that vowel now can be spelled with either one or two L's following.
FWIW, 'troll' and 'knoll' still have 'short O'; 'poll' can have either long or short, depending on meaning. [to /pQl/ = to cut the horns, head or branches off; to /poUl/ = to survey].

Meanwhile, 'all, ball thrall' all have a distinctly 'long O', although not the same long O as poll=survey.

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 00:40

Of course, the norm in English is that the last vowel letter in a word, if it has at least one consonant but no other vowels after it, and is not part of a digraph, trigraph, or quadrigraph (like in "sign", "high", "sight", and "Hugh"), will be short. ("Be", "hi", "go", etc. are long, as are "cane", "say", "claim", "sundae", and "shillelagh", but not "car", "man", "bland", "last" or "schmaltz".) Think of how few words that have A as the last vowel pronounce it /ei/, except in dialects (like mine) wherein -ang and -ank words (hang, bang, spank, bank, Frank, orangutan, etc.) have /ei/. All I can think of are "a", the letter A, "bass", the surname of Colbie Caillat, and some pronunciations of "Croat" (so that it sounds like "Croatian").
You're making this way more complicated that in needs to be. It's not about being the 'last vowel', it's just that the 'magic e' makes the preceding single consonant intervocalic. The same rules apply to non-last vowels. The exceptions are usually unstressed vowels, or vowels (usually in Latinisms) reduced through trisyllabic laxing.

Oh, and because the rules stumble over suffixes, certain suffixes are usually (but irregularly) ignored for this purposes, like -ic. (hence path-E-tic, not path-ee-tic) - as though the stem were "pathet".

"Control" and "patrol" just happen to follow one of these patterns, although for reasons I'm unaware of, they don't double the L in English the way "roll" and "poll" do.
One issure here is that some -VlC clusters resulted in vowel lengthening, and this also includes some -ll clusters.

Regarding 'control' and 'patrol': both words used to have <ll> in them, but seem to have had the double reduced, probably by hyper-applying the 'double consonant when you add the suffix' rule. [i.e. "controlling : controll" > "controlling : control" > "controling : control"]

Then, of course, plurals of words ending in long vowels can have a similar effect: apostrophes, similes, hi's, mangos, pianos, tacos, flus, parvenus, and flybys all have the last vowel letter a long one.
Finally, there're "sosh" and "fav", which rhyme with "gauche" and "save", not "Josh" and "Trav", because they are twentieth-century apocopations of words ("socialite" and "favorite") in which the O and A followed the normal rules.
. I've never encountered "sosh", but I'd pronounce both those words with short vowels. There is a word with the long A, but it's spelled "fave".

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote:
15 Mar 2020 02:24
Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 00:40

Of course, the norm in English is that the last vowel letter in a word, if it has at least one consonant but no other vowels after it, and is not part of a digraph, trigraph, or quadrigraph (like in "sign", "high", "sight", and "Hugh"), will be short. ("Be", "hi", "go", etc. are long, as are "cane", "say", "claim", "sundae", and "shillelagh", but not "car", "man", "bland", "last" or "schmaltz".) Think of how few words that have A as the last vowel pronounce it /ei/, except in dialects (like mine) wherein -ang and -ank words (hang, bang, spank, bank, Frank, orangutan, etc.) have /ei/. All I can think of are "a", the letter A, "bass", the surname of Colbie Caillat, and some pronunciations of "Croat" (so that it sounds like "Croatian").
You're making this way more complicated that in needs to be. It's not about being the 'last vowel', it's just that the 'magic e' makes the preceding single consonant intervocalic. The same rules apply to non-last vowels. The exceptions are usually unstressed vowels, or vowels (usually in Latinisms) reduced through trisyllabic laxing.
That might be a better way to put it.

Of course, the A remains long in the -ange words (range, arrange, change, strange, mange -- but not flange or Ange!) -- and the -aste words (waste, taste, paste, haste, chaste, baste). Also in "ache" (which as a noun used to be pronounced like "aitch" and as a verb used to be spelt "ake").
"Control" and "patrol" just happen to follow one of these patterns, although for reasons I'm unaware of, they don't double the L in English the way "roll" and "poll" do.
One issure here is that some -VlC clusters resulted in vowel lengthening, and this also includes some -ll clusters.

Regarding 'control' and 'patrol': both words used to have <ll> in them, but seem to have had the double reduced, probably by hyper-applying the 'double consonant when you add the suffix' rule. [i.e. "controlling : controll" > "controlling : control" > "controling : control"]
I never knew that! So that's why words like "child", "cold", and "bolt" have long vowels despite their E-lessness?
Finally, there're "sosh" and "fav", which rhyme with "gauche" and "save", not "Josh" and "Trav", because they are twentieth-century apocopations of words ("socialite" and "favorite") in which the O and A followed the normal rules.
. I've never encountered "sosh", but I'd pronounce both those words with short vowels. There is a word with the long A, but it's spelled "fave".
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-a ... ember-2018
All of which goes to show: English speakers have a high level of understanding of, and fidelity to, English spelling rules, even if not consciously, and spelling reformers often underestimate this!
[+1]
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 02:38

Of course, the A remains long in the -ange words (range, arrange, change, strange, mange -- but not flange or Ange!) -- and the -aste words (waste, taste, paste, haste, chaste, baste). Also in "ache" (which as a noun used to be pronounced like "aitch" and as a verb used to be spelt "ake").
Yes, some clusters seem to act like single consonants in old words - so <st> has a preceding short vowel when final, but sometimes a long vowel before a vowel.

I never knew that! So that's why words like "child", "cold", and "bolt" have long vowels despite their E-lessness?
I think so, yes; likewise -nC clusters and -rC clusters, although all the rules around rhotics have messed up the last category. [and likewise some -lC words, where the /l/ ended up a vowel]

Although "bolt" has a short vowel. Like holt, colt, dolt and molt.


[Oh, and for me of course there's also a bunch of issues with clusters like -sC when they follow <a>. So, /plAst@/ (plaster) but /pl{stIk/ (plastic), but /peIst/ (paste)...
Finally, there're "sosh" and "fav", which rhyme with "gauche" and "save", not "Josh" and "Trav", because they are twentieth-century apocopations of words ("socialite" and "favorite") in which the O and A followed the normal rules.
. I've never encountered "sosh", but I'd pronounce both those words with short vowels. There is a word with the long A, but it's spelled "fave".
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-a ... ember-2018
[/quote]

That article links to the dictionary entry... which spells it 'fave'. It just notes 'fav' as a less common spelling variant sometimes found.

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2276
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 09:36
Location: California über alles

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote:
15 Mar 2020 02:48
Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 02:38

Of course, the A remains long in the -ange words (range, arrange, change, strange, mange -- but not flange or Ange!) -- and the -aste words (waste, taste, paste, haste, chaste, baste). Also in "ache" (which as a noun used to be pronounced like "aitch" and as a verb used to be spelt "ake").
Yes, some clusters seem to act like single consonants in old words - so <st> has a preceding short vowel when final, but sometimes a long vowel before a vowel.
Interesting! Are there any processes that covered which consonant clusters acted like single consonants and which didn't?
I never knew that! So that's why words like "child", "cold", and "bolt" have long vowels despite their E-lessness?
I think so, yes; likewise -nC clusters and -rC clusters, although all the rules around rhotics have messed up the last category. [and likewise some -lC words, where the /l/ ended up a vowel]
You mean words with silent L, like "walk", "folk", and "half"? Or, perhaps, words like "child", "wild", and "mild", in which a schwa developed before the /l/?
Although "bolt" has a short vowel. Like holt, colt, dolt and molt.
Wow, I pronounce those words just like "bold", "hold", "cold", "doled", and "mold", except with a /t/ (phonetically a glottal stop) instead of a /d/ at the end, respectively. Are the short vowel pronunciations the standard British pronunciation for -olt words? (I was surprised about "squirrel" the other day, so . . .)
Finally, there're "sosh" and "fav", which rhyme with "gauche" and "save", not "Josh" and "Trav", because they are twentieth-century apocopations of words ("socialite" and "favorite") in which the O and A followed the normal rules.
. I've never encountered "sosh", but I'd pronounce both those words with short vowels. There is a word with the long A, but it's spelled "fave".
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-a ... ember-2018
That article links to the dictionary entry... which spells it 'fave'. It just notes 'fav' as a less common spelling variant sometimes found.
If "fave" is more common, that certainly attests to the intuitive grasp English speakers have of our spelling rules. Similarly, we have both "mic" (true to the spelling) and "mike" (true to the pronunciation) for the apocopation of "microphone".

Although this rapper seems not to grasp English spelling too well . . .
Last edited by Khemehekis on 15 Mar 2020 04:14, edited 3 times in total.
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 65,595 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
Pabappa
sinic
sinic
Posts: 370
Joined: 18 Nov 2017 02:41
Contact:

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa »

i was using the schoolboy definitions of short vowels there, i meant they were phonologically lax. not that they were of longer duration, which is not contrastive in most AmEng dialects and which i had in fact forgotten about when i made that post. sorry if any confusion. but the words "troll, poll" etc are almost certainly pronounced with /o/ of some duration by all American dialcets.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1036
Joined: 16 May 2010 00:25

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen »

Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 03:09
Although "bolt" has a short vowel. Like holt, colt, dolt and molt.
Wow, I pronounce those words just like "bold", "hold", "cold", "doled", and "mold", except with a /t/ (phonetically a glottal stop) instead of a /d/ at the end, respectively. Are the short vowel pronunciations the standard British pronunciation for -olt words?
For what it's worth, the entries for dolt and molt on Wiktionary seem to distinguish the "UK" pronunciation, which has the short vowel, from both RP and the US, which have the long one. Seems to me it would make more sense to list RP as a(n obsolete or at least archaic) variant under the UK, but what do I know... The other words in that list just typically have both pronunciations listed, although for some it's noted that only the long vowel occurs in the US.

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1881
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 19:37

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote:
15 Mar 2020 03:09

Interesting! Are there any processes that covered which consonant clusters acted like single consonants and which didn't?
I don't know. I think it's only an orthographic decision about how to represent a long vowel before certain consonant clusters, rather than a phonological thing. In Ye Olden Dayes, there was a lot more use of the 'treat clusters as single consonants that you can 'shorten' with a following silent E' rule, often including double marking of length. Over time, spellings settled on one method or another, on seemingly a word-by-word basis. So what would have been often spelled as "wayste" or "waiste" is now spelled either "waste" or "waist", depending on meaning.
I never knew that! So that's why words like "child", "cold", and "bolt" have long vowels despite their E-lessness?
I think so, yes; likewise -nC clusters and -rC clusters, although all the rules around rhotics have messed up the last category. [and likewise some -lC words, where the /l/ ended up a vowel]
You mean words with silent L, like "walk", "folk", and "half"? Or, perhaps, words like "child", "wild", and "mild", in which a schwa developed before the /l/?
I meant words with alC sequences, which typically have O rather than A pronunciations (and no /l/ at all), and often short (salt, falcon, etc). "Almond" used to have O as well, although it's usually been regularised to a long A. ('salmon' isn't a counterexample, because it never had /l/ in the first place, that's just a 'corrected' spelling like the 'b' in 'debt' and the 's' in 'island').
Although "bolt" has a short vowel. Like holt, colt, dolt and molt.
Wow, I pronounce those words just like "bold", "hold", "cold", "doled", and "mold", except with a /t/ (phonetically a glottal stop) instead of a /d/ at the end, respectively. Are the short vowel pronunciations the standard British pronunciation for -olt words? (I was surprised about "squirrel" the other day, so . . .)
Errr... I don't really know what 'standard British' is, to be honest. Those words were mostly long in RP, but in SSBE they're mostly short. I sometimes have a long vowel in 'molt', and maybe occasionally in 'bolt' (i think it would always be short when talking of a bolt as in a lock, but might be long for 'bolt' as in flee, sometimes). This is presumably associated with the shortening of words like 'salt' and 'falcon', and may be associated with the more general (but rather unpredictable) shorting of BATH vowels in certain words, all of which have been going on at the same time, and are not yet complete.

I'm not sure how these words work in dialects outside of the South, though.

Although this rapper seems not to grasp English spelling too well . . .
/fl{v@ fl{v/? Yes, I always assumed in his case it was some sort of AAVE issue.

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 5507
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore »

Wow!
My “short question” inspired plenty of answer!
Thanks, all! I’ll keep following!

Post Reply